Bloody stools according to Chinese Medicine

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Bloody stools can be the consequence of several so-called “patterns of disharmony” in Chinese Medicine.

Chinese Medicine sees the body as a system, not a sum of isolated parts. A "pattern" is when the system's harmony is disrupted, leading to symptoms or signs that something is wrong (like bloody stools here). It is similar to the concept of disease in Western Medicine but not quite: a Western disease can often be explained by several Chinese patterns and vice-versa.

A pattern often manifests itself in a combination of symptoms that, at first glance, do not seem necessarily related to each others. For instance here bloody stools is often associated with dizziness, eczema and insomnia in the pattern “Heat in the Blood”.

Once identified, patterns are treated using medicinal herbs, acupuncture, and other therapies. In the case of bloody stools we’ve identified that a herbal formula called Xi Jiao Di Huang Tang can help treat the patterns behind the symptom.

Heat in the Blood, a "pattern of disharmony" that can cause bloody stools

In Chinese Medicine bloody stools is a symptom for the pattern "Heat in the Blood". Below is a small explanation for it with links for more details.

Water Buffalo Horns (Shui Niu Jiao) is the king ingredient for Xi Jiao Di Huang Tang, a formula used for Heat in the Blood

Heat in the Blood

Pulse type(s): Rapid (Shu)

Tongue color: Red

Heat in the Blood (or Blood-Heat) refers to a condition whereby Heat, as a so-called "Pernicious Influence", entered the Blood. This invasion tends to accelerate Blood flow (leading to a faster pulse) and to manifest itself in various types of bleeding as well as other symptoms.

In addition to bloody stools, other symptoms associated with Heat in the Blood include dizziness, eczema and insomnia.

From a Western Medicine standpoint Heat in the Blood is associated with health issues such as Early Menstruation, Abnormal Uterine Bleeding or Heavy Menstruation.

Heat in the Blood is often treated with Xi Jiao Di Huang Tang, a herbal formula made of 4 herbs (including Water Buffalo Horns - Shui Niu Jiao - as a key herb). Xi Jiao Di Huang Tang belongs to the category of "formulas that clear nutritive-level heat", which might be why it is often recommended for this pattern. Its main action as a formula is: "Treats severe fevers and Heat in the Blood system".

Read more about Heat in the Blood here

A herbal formula that might help with bloody stools

Xi Jiao Di Huang Tang

Source date: 650 AD

Number of ingredients: 4 herbs

Key actions: Treats severe fevers and Heat in the Blood system. Removes Blood Stagnation.

Why might Xi Jiao Di Huang Tang help with bloody stools?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern 'Heat in the Blood' of which bloody stools is a symptom.

Other symptoms characteristic of Heat In The Blood include dizziness, eczema and insomnia.

Read more about Xi Jiao Di Huang Tang here

The five Chinese Medicinal herbs most likely to help treat bloody stools

Why might Water Buffalo Horn (Shui Niu Jiao) help with bloody stools?

Because it is a key herb in Xi Jiao Di Huang Tang, a herbal formula indicated to treat the pattern 'Heat in the Blood' (a pattern with bloody stools as a symptom)

Water Buffalo Horns is a Cold herb that tastes Bitter and Salty. It targets the Stomach, the Heart and the Liver.

Its main actions are: Cools the Blood, drains Fire and stops reckless movement of Blood. Clears Heat and Fire and stops tremors and convulsions. Cools Fire and expels toxins.

Read more about Water Buffalo Horns here

Why might Eclipta Herb (Mo Han Lian) help with bloody stools?

Because it is a herb specifically indicated to treat bloody stools as can be seen on Eclipta Herb's page.

Eclipta Herbs is a Cold herb that tastes Sour and Sweet. It targets the Kidney and the Liver.

Its main actions are: Tonifies Yin of the Liver and Kidneys. Clears Blood Heat and stops bleeding.

Read more about Eclipta Herbs here

Why might Chicken Egg Yolk (Ji Zi Huang) help with bloody stools?

Because it is a herb specifically indicated to treat bloody stools as can be seen on Chicken Egg Yolk's page.

Chicken Egg Yolks is a Neutral herb that tastes Sweet. It targets the Heart and the Kidney.

Its main actions are: Nourishes Yin and moisturizes Dryness. Nourishes blood and dispels Wind.

Read more about Chicken Egg Yolks here

Why might Donkey-Hide Gelatin (E Jiao) help with bloody stools?

Because it is a herb specifically indicated to treat bloody stools as can be seen on Donkey-Hide Gelatin's page.

Donkey-Hide Gelatin is a Neutral herb that tastes Sweet. It targets the Kidney, the Liver and the Lung.

Its main actions are: Tonifies and nourishes Blood. Stops bleeding. Moistens and lubricates Yin.

Read more about Donkey-Hide Gelatin here

Why might Sanguisorba Root (Di Yu) help with bloody stools?

Because it is a herb specifically indicated to treat bloody stools as can be seen on Sanguisorba Root's page.

Sanguisorba Roots is a Cool herb that tastes Bitter and Sour. It targets the Stomach, the Large intestine and the Liver.

Its main actions are: Reduces Heat in the Blood, drains Damp-Heat and stops bleeding. Stops diarrhea. Applied topically it reduces inflammation and aids in wound healing.

Read more about Sanguisorba Roots here